Bishops to launch joint reflection with high-level political representatives in Rome
At the opening of the Spring Plenary, COMECE President Cardinal Marx reaffirmed the strong support of the Catholic Church for the European project: “There is no suitable alternative to cooperation in Europe, because working together is the best way to maintain peace in Europe, to meet the economic and social challenges of globalization, and to become again a point of reference for humanity, as Pope Francis hopes for Europe.”
In view of Brexit, Cardinal Marx explained that the Church has always supported the unification process and solidarity among Member Sates and therefore regrets that the UK will leave the Union. He is of the view that neither the British nor the Europeans are aware of the wide-reaching consequences of this decision. The separation will be painful and expensive for both sides. Still, Cardinal Marx underlined “we know that we will stay together in Europe”.
“As Church, as Christians, we want to make a contribution to the discussion about the future of Europe” he said, announcing that COMECE will organise a Congress on the future of the European Union on 27-29 October 2017 in Rome, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaties.
During their Plenary Assembly in Brussels, the COMECE bishops dealt with the issues that they intend to address during the Congress in Rome next October: the crises and their causes, the social dimension of Europe, the different concepts and visions of Europe and the European Union.
The Bishops entered into dialogue with political and academic experts - MEP Sylvie Goulard (ALDE), Prof. Jérôme Jamin (Université de Liège) and Prof. Luuk van Middelaar (Université Catholique Louvain-la-Neuve) - in order to address the main challenges facing Europe today.
“As COMECE, we have a crucial task now and in the coming years. In 20, 30 or 50 years, one may also ask: where was the Church when Europe was divided about its future?” Pope Francis has repeatedly shown the wish of the Catholic Church to enter into a dialogue with EU leaders, especially through the Audience he gave to the 27 heads of states and governments in the Vatican. A great sign of this support of the Holy Father is that the COMECE Congress will be organised jointly with the Holy See and take place in the Vatican.